Sunday, September 15, 2013, has been designated “Assembly Sunday” by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America to draw attention to the fourth meeting of the Assembly’s hierarchs at the Chicago Marriott here September 17-19.
The following encyclical from His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Assembly Chair, was issued in conjunction with the occasion.
Encyclical to All Orthodox Christian Faithful of North and Central America Concerning Assembly Sunday 2013
To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of Parish Councils, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Members of Philanthropic Organizations, the Youth and Youth Workers, and the entire Orthodox Christian Family in North and Central America:
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America will convene for its fourth meeting on September 17 – 19, 2013. On this day, marked as “Assembly Sunday,” we ask all clergy and faithful throughout the lands of which the Assembly is composed to offer prayers for safe travel, fraternal dialogue, and furtherance of the work of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Orthodox Church. The Assembly represents the hopes, aspirations and vision for the future of Orthodoxy for all Orthodox Christian faithful in North and Central America.
Our Assembly of Bishops is one of twelve bishops’ assemblies that have been established in different geographical regions throughout the world. It was established in accordance with the decision of the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference, convened in Chambesy, Switzerland, in June of 2009, attended by representatives from all the universally-recognized autocephalous Orthodox churches.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy we are asking the following prayer to be offered at a special litany:
“O Lord of Heaven and Earth and of all who dwell therein, we beseech you on behalf of all the Hierarchs of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America who are gathering this week in solemn convocation. Make their travel to and from their meeting safe and sound; direct their deliberations to the glory of Your Holy Name and the benefit of Your Holy Church; grant them a fraternal spirit founded in Your love and Your grace, that in all they do and say, they may bring all honor, praise and glory to Your Name, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.”
With paternal love in Christ,
Archbishop of America
Chairman Assembly of Canonical Orthodox
Bishops of North and Central America